OONI is a new, open source effort that aims to highlight instances of surveillance, censorship, and networked discrimination online.
If the crowds can be tapped to help uncover corruption and street harassment around the globe, then why not internet censorship as well? That, indeed, is precisely the premise behind OONI, a new, open source effort from the US-based Tor Project that aims to highlight instances of surveillance, censorship, and networked discrimination worldwide. While Google’s Transparency Report already serves a similar purpose, OONI was motivated by a frustration with the closed nature of such tools, according to a report on Forbes. Short for Open Observatory for Network Interference, the project was reportedly funded in part by a grant from Radio Free Asia, and source code for its probe tool has been released on GitHub. Anyone can participate in the project by using that tool to perform scans of their own — data will be aggregated and published for public viewing. The project’s developers explain: “This is a human rights observation project for the Internet. The end goal of the OONI project is to collect data which shows an accurate representation of network interference on the Filternet we call the internet.” Though still in its very early stages, OONI has already turned up two instances of online censorship, including one in the United States by T-Mobile. Tech-minded entrepreneurs — what nefarious activities could you and the crowds help bring to light? Spotted by: Katherine Noyes